Leave No stone Unturned: Ensuring Your Pet’s Kidney and Urinary Health

Did you know 75% of your pet’s kidney function is gone before you see signs of serious illness?
That means your pet may have kidney disease and you may not even know it!

So what are some common kidney and urinary issues that may arise?

One very common issue is the development of urinary stones. Urinary stones are formed by minerals, which first precipitate out in the urine as individual microscopic crystals. Over time, these crystals unite and small grains of sand-like material may be formed. Once these first grains are present, additional deposits form on their surface and the tiny specks are gradually built into stones. Dogs or cats with very small stones in their urinary system may or may not show any symptoms. Sometimes owners will notice blood in their pet’s urine, or that their pets have started to urinate frequently, passing only small quantities each time. They may also notice their pets straining or showing discomfort while urinating, or holding their body in the urinating posture for much longer than normal. Excessive grooming of their genital area may also be an indication something is wrong. In other cases, some pets may show no signs at all, but the issue is still present! If these stones become larger, and are not detected and monitored, they can move into other areas of the urinary system, and may cause obstruction. Obstruction is an emergency that puts your pet’s health at serious risk.

Renal (kidney) disease can also be a serious issue for your pet. It can affect pets of any age, but is especially common in senior pets (over the age of 7). Renal disease can be acute, in which the signs occur suddenly and can be very severe or chronic, where the onset may be very slow and the signs fairly nonspecific. Whether the disease is acute or chronic is typically related to the cause (of which there many).

Renal insufficiency or renal failure occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to do their appointed job, which is to remove waste products from the blood. Renal failure is not the same as not being able to produce urine. In fact, most pets with renal failure make lots of urine in an attempt to remove the waste products that collect in the blood. The kidneys are failing, but the pet makes a huge volume of urine – this can be confusing to pet owners!
So how can your veterinary team help monitor your pet’s kidney and urinary tract heath?

The best way to keep your pet’s kidney and urinary tract health in tip-top shape is through preventive healthcare. Routine bloodwork and urine testing can update us as to the status of your pet’s kidney and urinary system.
Focusing on your pet’s kidney and urinary tract health is important because this is an area of veterinary medicine where preventive healthcare can make a big difference!


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